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Early experience of middle management assessment: lessons from the NEAC scheme

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This article focuses on the findings of an evaluation of the pilot phase of the National Educational Assessment Centre (NEAC) Middle Manager Scheme launched in 1996. The scheme, aimed at enabling the assessment of generic managerial competencies, is discussed within the context of the â–˜standards and competence movementâ–™ of the 1990s, including the recent Teacher Training Agency (TTA) initiative on National Standards. There follows an overview of the key findings of the NEAC scheme, which highlights the considerable benefits that participants derived from the process of having been listened to by an empathetic and experienced professional in a one-to-one situation, and from the opportunity to engage in real reflection on personal and professional goals. The need for schools to build on this positive experience through entitlement to a system of on-going mentor support is discussed, and the implications for school management of continuing professional development are explored. Finally, it is suggested that if, as intended by the TTA, the newly launched National Standards are to become useful tools to stimulate teachers' professional growth through the processes of reflection, review and action planning, the NEAC experience indicates that this is most likely to occur within a positive Continuous Professional Development (CPD) school culture that ensures entitlement to individual mentor support.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Keele, United Kingdom

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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